If you are taking a new lease on a commercial property you want to make sure, first and foremost, that you can afford not only the rent but also the rates, bills and other charges as well as the upkeep. Speak to your financial expert about your business and financial projections to be sure that you are not taking on a premises that results in a hefty burden on your turnover.
Next, find a solicitor who specialises in commercial property leases. They will help with all the legal aspects of the lease, including the permitted use and making sense of all the repair clauses.
Once this is done there is another step before you sign the lease. Most leases require that when your occupation finishes you have to return the property in at least as good a state of repair as when you found it. Unfortunately, if no-one has kept a detailed record of the condition of the property at the start of the lease you will be liable for all repairs, including problems that were there when you first occupied. These repairs will all be highlighted in the Schedule of Dilapidations which will be commissioned by the landlord at the end of the lease (which you will probably have to pay for).
To make sure you are not liable for a new roof, when the roof was on its last legs when you first took it on, you and your landlord need to agree on the condition at the start of the lease. For this you will need a Schedule of Condition.
Once the Schedule of Condition has been presented and agreed upon you will not become unfairly liable for all repairs, only those caused by you while you occupied the property.
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